I received a phone call yesterday purporting to be from Virgin Media. I was told they had detected intermittent problems with my router and they would talk me through the process for the repair. As I had recent problems connecting to sites I was not unduly suspicious. I opened up my laptop and followed the instructions they gave me. They told me that I would be sent a new router and that as I was due £404.65 compensation I should open my bank account to check receipt of same. This is when I became suspicious and terminated the call. I am now worried that I might have compromised my router and or installed malware on my laptop. I called Virgin Media on 150 but after about 1hour the connection was cut. I then tried to let Virgin know through the online chat format but after the robot telling me it would contact a human for a reply I never received any other contact. Can Virgin check if my router has been compromised? How can I check my laptop for malware?
You are describing the common format of a 'refund' scam. It is very difficult to give you anything other than generic advice on your situation as a lot will depend on what exactly happened during your interaction with the scammers and how long that interaction went on for.
Did you download and install any software to your laptop? Were you asked to visit any specific websites by them? Did you divulge any security or personal information to them? Did you allow the scammers remote access to take control of your computer at any point?
You can find some general advice from Citizens Advice here
The web link to Citizens Advice gives a useful list of general advice on what to do. The main aim of the scammers is usually to steal money from you so protecting access to your finances and your financial information as well as changing all your passwords and security information are important points from the CAB advice.
If you are not confident to decide whether your laptop has been compromised or not, then seek further technical advice from a reputable local computer technician, or computer repair shop, and do not use it in the meantime until you are confident that it is safe to do so.
Now that the scammers have made contact, and spoken with you for an extended period, there is a very good chance they will try again so beware of this possibility. The best advice is to hang up and not engage with them in any way. The link below is to a booklet from the Metropolitan Police which describes a range of different scams over the phone which may be useful in case you receive further calls
The chances of your router being "compromised" by many countries or whoever is highly unlikely and you shouldn't worry too much about this. However, since you have given them your postal address, you have confirmed that you are "live". Don't worry too much about this either. Your address can end up on a hit list via legitimate means, such as a data breach. Expect more phone calls regarding the computer. VM also don't make calls like this.
Your first course of action is to remove any remote software (such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, SupRemo; if you installed any) and scan for viruses.
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